English Professor Publishes Essays on Mark Twain, Southern Humor and Southern Plantation Fiction

HIGH POINT, N.C., March 22, 2012 – Dr. Ed Piacentino, professor of English at High Point University, recently published three essays in major peer-reviewed scholarly journals.

His essay, “Recontextualizing Mark Twain’s ‘A True Story,’ ” in the “Mark Twain Annual,” examines Mark Twain’s first story in African-American dialect within the local color tradition of the 1870s and 1880s.

Another essay, “Ham Jones, North Carolina Backwoods Humorist, and the Art of ‘Democratic Elbow-Rubbing,’ ” was published in the “Mississippi Quarterly.” It explores little-known humorous newspaper sketches of Jones, who was a resident of Rowan County.

Piacentino’s final essay, “Slavery Through the White-Tinted Lens of an Embedded Black Narrator: Sejour’s ‘The Mulatto’ and Chesnutt’s ‘Dave’s Neckliss’ as Intertexts,” was published in the Southern Literary Journal. This essay focuses on how these works, both plantation fiction, share similarities and differences in literary and rhetorical discourses.

“My scholarship generates naturally from my teaching, and the two complement each other,” Piacentino says. “Twain’s story, some of Ham Jones’s sketches, and the stories of Sejour and Chesnutt have been texts featured in my courses.”

Piacentino is an active scholar of American Literature and has published over 150 articles and authored or edited seven books, including “T. S. Stribling: Pioneer Realist in Modern Southern Literature,” “The Enduring Legacy of Old Southwest Humor” and C.M. Hallie’s “Pardon Jones’ Letters: Old Southwest Humor from Antebellum Louisiana.”

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.℠ HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. HPU was selected in the 2010-2011 list of “Colleges of Distinction,” as well as one of the top green schools in the country by the Sierra Club. The university offers 44 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and 10 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at highpoint.edu.

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Pam Haynes

Communication Specialist



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